The Bandarawela Hotel is a heritage hotel in the centre of Sri Lanka's lesser-known hill station where the influx of tourists is not so pronounced. Bandarawela Hotel's origins date back to the turn of the 19/20C with the extension of the Highlands railway. This slowly-evolving hotel reeks with history, with memories of a bygone era literally hanging to the walls. Colonial-style at a very attractive price.
There are 32 Standard Rooms (eight have interconnecting doors for families) and one Suite, all of which come with en suite bathrooms. Bedrooms still retain the cast iron and brass beds fitted with mosquito netting. Overhead fans are ample; there is no a/c. TV in all rooms. The Suite is more spacious with a large four-poster canopied bed and minibar. The bathrooms have h/w showers, bathtubs, wash basin, and w/c.
Sri Lankan and western cuisine is served in a traditional main dining hall, and room service is available. The extensive lounge is filled with photographs depicting the history of the railways and the hotel. A quaint bar with wood-panelled walls, teak bar stools and a working fireplace - once the favourite haunt of the colonial tea planters and railway staff - still remains. A games room with indoor games and billiards table and a children's play area is also available. Guests have access to sports and recreational facilities, snooker included, at the nearby Bandarawela Tennis Club, which is considered to be the oldest sports club in the country.
Why We Like It
The heritage vibe of a traditional hotel characterised by pretty flowerbeds, antiques and old school decor.
The Aitken Spence chain of hotels has been working on sustainability throughout their hotels over the past couple of years. All Aitken Spence hotels are keen on energy and water saving, educating their staff and inspiring their guests to go green while also being Travelife Gold certified.
Bandarawela Hotel is a convenient base from which to explore the Sri Lanka's southern highlands. Bandarawela can be accessed via Ratnapura or Nuwara Eliya. Ella and Haputale are just half an hour away.
Location: Bandarawela, Hill Country
Style: Best Budget Hotel
No. of Rooms: 33
Key Features: Colonial-style architecture; restaurant; bar